The LG LJ5500 is an entry-level 1080p smart TV which features LG's WebOS platform. It has a relatively wide viewing angle, making it better than average for use in a wider living room. Unfortunately, its picture quality leaves a lot to be desired, and its 1080p resolution is a bit antiquated. It is the same TV as the LJ550M found at BestBuy and the LJ5000 and LG500M are variants without smart features.
The design of the LJ5500 is basic and similar to most other LG TVs is the 6 series such as the UJ6300. It won't stand out in a room but is functional with quite easy to access inputs and has a wide stand that supports the TV well.
Similar to most other LG TVs, the LJ5500 has a stand almost as wide as the TV. It is made of plastic but does support the TV well.
Footprint of the 43" TV stand: 7.3" x 33.4"
The LJ5500 has a simple plastic back. It does look a bit better than most low-mid range TVs due to the molded plastic. Most of the inputs are out the side of the TV and so easy to access if placed close to a wall, but legacy inputs may be difficult to connect when wall mounted.
The borders of the TV have an average thickness, but look quite good due to the smooth plastic.
The TV appears quite thick when viewed from an angle but this isn't too much of an issue. It will stick out slightly if wall mounted.
The front of the TV stays fairly cool, and the back only gets warm to the touch in a few spots, the warmest being near where the power cord plugs into the TV.
The build quality is decent. Everything is made of plastic but fits together quite well without too much play. It is not likely to be an issue with normal use.
The LG LJ5500 Full HD IPS TV has a subpar picture quality. The unremarkable contrast ratio and poor black uniformity make for a disappointing dark room performance where blacks look grayish and dark scenes look washed out. When set in a bright room, the LJ5500 has a more passable performance, but mostly because the ambient light help to negate the effect of the low contrast ratio visually. The LJ5500 can deal with reflections well and the SDR peak brightness is decent but in a case where a very bright light or a sunny window is very close, it may not be enough to overtake the direct glare. The gray uniformity is average and dirty screen effect is visible when watching video content with big panning shot over a uniform surface like hockey or football. The viewing angle is also average, even for an IPS TV, so the LJ5500 will be better suited for living room with a narrow seating setup. Finally, HDR is not supported on this set.
The LJ5500 has a sub-par native contrast ratio for an LED TV. When compared to other IPS TVs though, with a contrast ratio of 1140, it is in the middle of the pack for this type of panel.
This low contrast ratio means that when set in a dark room, the blacks won't be very black, but will look more like gray than really black. Fortunately, this is less noticeable when the TV is set in a room with a good lighting since the room ambiant light will render less noticeable this low contrast ratio.
The LJ5500 does not have a local dimming feature. The video is for reference only.
Decent SDR peak brightness, good enough for a moderately lit room but may appear too dim in a bright room. The brightness remains consistent no matter the content shown, which is good.
HDR is not supported.
The LJ5500 overall gray uniformity is average. Looking at our 50% gray uniformity picture, the main thing that catches the eyes is the 2 brighter spots in the top left part of the screen. The corners and sides are also a bit darker than the rest of the screen and the bottom part is a bit warmer than the top. Dirty screen effect is visible, unfortunately, especially while watching sports like hockey of soccer.
The uniformity in the darker shade of gray is much better than the 5 percent though, and not much can be noticed at all on that aspect.
Mediocre viewing angle, even for a TV with an IPS panel, but better than almost all TVs with VA panels. Brightness decreases and colors shift when the TV is viewed from a small angle, but the black level remains very consistent which is good.
The LJ5500's black uniformity is bad. Some flashlighting is visible near both top corners. Some clouding was also visible here and there with some darker patches near the lower corners. Overall, the screen is not very uniform and this will be particularly visible in dark scenes in movies or TV shows.
The reflection handling of the LJ5500 is quite good. It has a semi-gloss finish which diffuses direct reflections across the screen, reducing their intensity. It is fine for an average room, but in a bright room, reflections may be an issue.
Out of the box, when the LG LJ5500 is set to the 'Expert (Dark room)' picture setting, and with the 'Warm2' color temperature, the overall accuracy is below average. If the TV is set to another picture mode or one of the other color temperature, then the accuracy is even more disappointing.
The white balance is a bit on the warmer side, but just slightly, and the dE is higher than what we would like (4.16), as an avid enthusiast could notice there is something a bit off here. The gamma is not too bad though since even if the curve is not flat, we still end up with 2.22, which is not too far from our target. The only small issue with the gamma is in the lower stimulus level, where the TV might loose some contrast in the very dark region, but besides that, it looks good.
The color accuracy is also a bit high with a dE of 3.91. Most of the issues here derive from the fact that the white point is a bit off and thus, all the other colors follow. Only the yellow and blue are a bit more off target than the rest.
After calibration, the LJ5500 shows excellent accuracy. Both the white balance dE and color dE are much more precise and accurate. There is only a small imperfection in the lower stimulus, but this did cause a problem and we could not fix it without causing more trouble.
The only downside here is that the whole process was pretty inconsistent, as the 2 point, 20 points white balance and color space management were not very accurate and responsive. In the 20 points white balance control, each point was affecting up to 2 or 3 points higher, make the whole process a bit longer. This was a bit of a surprise, as much of the 2017 LG line up that we did calibrate had very responsive and precise control over the white balance.
In the end, the calibration was still a plus and the result was good, but it only took a bit more time to do than usual.
You can see our recommended settings here.
Upscaling of low-quality content such as DVDs is quite good. The image is a bit softer than usual, but edges remain defined.
720p content such as cable is upscaled well. Unlike most other LG TVs, very few halo artifacts are visible along edges which is good. Details are preserved.
Standard color gamut, but good enough for SDR content using the Rec 709 color space.
Poor color volume. The TV's standard color gamut and low contrast ratio prevent it from showing a lot of colors at a range of brightness levels.
The LG LJ5500 performs excellent on our gradient test. Almost no banding at all can be seen on our test picture, besides some little irregularities in the dark green. No 8-bit banding can be seen at all. This is one of the best gradients with have tested yet in 2017.
The LG LJ5500 IPS TV does present some image retention. After the 10 minutes burn-in scene, as we can see on our test picture, the image retention is easily noticeable, but after 2 minutes of recovery, the retention is already very faint and almost non-noticeable.
Even if this result is disappointing, overall, when you compare to other TV, VA panel TVs especially, the fact that the retention clears up pretty fast is good news and when compared to other IPS TVs tested before, the LJ5500 would be in the middle of the group performance wise.
Although some IPS panels can suffer from temporary image retention, this doesn't appear to be permanent as seen in our long-term test.
The LJ5500 is decent at handling motion. The response time is good, so only a short trail of blur can be seen behind moving objects. The TV uses PWM flicker at 120 Hz to dim, reducing the smoothness of motion compared to TVs that reduce backlight intensity to dim, but most people won't notice it. The LJ5500 can play movies at 24p from a DVD or Blu-ray player without judder, but some minor judder is present from other 60Hz sources. The TV is unable to interpolate lower frame rate content.
The LG LJ5500 uses PWM at 120Hz to dim the backlight, starting at 100/100 backlight setting. Lowering the setting shortens the duty cycle, while amplitude remains constant. Backlight PWM helps clear up motion slightly, but results in duplicate images following fast-moving objects, visible in the motion blur picture.
The LJ5500 has no optional BFI setting to reduce its flicker frequency to 60 Hz, though its 120 Hz PWM backlight does help somewhat to make motion more clear.
The LJ5500 has no motion interpolation features, so fans of the soap opera effect may be disappointed.
The LJ5500 is great at displaying movies and sports without any stutter. The LCD response time helps to blur the transition between frames, producing smooth movement even for movies.
The LJ5500 can display without judder 24p movies only from 24 sources and this when the 'Real Cinema' option (from the 'Picture Option' menu). 24p movies playing from 60p/60i sources do present some judder, and unfortunately, there is no way to remove it.
The LG LJ5500 has a 60Hz panel without support for more advanced features such as FreeSync.
Unfortunately, the LJ5500 does not support 4k or HDR content. It does, however, have great low input lag, which should please all but the most competitive gamers.
Great low input lag, which should please all but the most competitive gamers. The 'Game' picture mode has the lowest input lag, even in PC mode. PC mode on most other LG TVs has low input lag for all picture modes, but this is not the case with this TV, as only the Game picture mode has low input lag.
Because this TV only has a 1080p @ 60 Hz panel, many common resolutions aren't supported. 4:4:4 color is only shown properly when the input's icon is set to PC (aka 'PC mode').
The LG LJ5500's sound capabilities are unfortunately sub-par. It has lower distortion than average, but its sound signature could be a lot better.
Disappointing frequency response. While the LJ5500 follows the target very well, its limited low-frequency extension makes it sound quite thin. It also has a fair amount of dynamic range compression at higher volumes, and it doesn't get very loud at all.
Good distortion performance. While there is a rise in IMD at higher volumes, the levels are low throughout. THD also remains low at max volume which is unusual.
The LJ5500 runs LG's webOS smart platform, which is fast and easy to navigate and offers a lot of apps in its app store. The interface has separate sections for settings, inputs, and apps, each with its own button on the remote, quick menu and full menu. This system shortens the number of steps needed to find what you want. The TV, unfortunately, comes with a basic remote, rather than LG's amazing smart remote included with higher end models.
LG's webOS interface is split into three sections: settings, inputs, and apps. Each section has its own button on the remote, a quick menu, and a full menu containing advanced options. This shortens the number of steps needed to find what you're looking for, but the separated nature may be confusing for first-time users.
The TV has ads in the LG content store and in search results. There is no way to opt out of them.
Many popular apps come pre-installed on the TV, such as Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Video. The LG Content Store has a lot of apps available for download, but not quite as many as on Samsung or Android TVs.
This TV comes with the basic LG remote, which is mid-size and light despite offering a lot of buttons. Unfortunately, the rubber chunk buttons aren't as easy to press as the remotes of most other TVs. Most commonly used buttons are within easy reach of the direction pad which is good, but unfortunately the inputs button is in the top right hand corner and is hard to reach with one hand.
The LG remote app has some useful features, such as streaming files off the device running the app, but is missing some other features like text entry.
The TV has only one physical button, which brings up a menu with six icons: power, inputs, volume up/down and channel up/down. A short press changes icons and a long press activates them.
We tested the 43" (43LJ5500). For the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 49" (49LJ5500) and 55" (55LJ5500).
If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their LG LJ5500 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review. The LG LJ5000 and LG LJ550M are very similar LED TVs but lack the WebOS smart features.